Friday, February 12, 2010

All that Valentine's Day Flap

One thing you tend to hear a lot about this time of year is what a racket Valentine’s Day. The camps are split and it seems like nearly an equal divide (completely unscientific assessment) on what I am seeing among friends regarding Valentine’s Day.

The “anti” camp in past years has seemed to be made up mostly of those who unfortunately don’t have a significant other at the time and may sport a little bitterness, which sucks and is understandable. This I buy and I understand.

But lately, ok, the last decade or so it is also made up a lot more of people in relationships. One sentiment that seems to be embraced by this “anti” camp is that it is retail driven and they refuse to celebrate their love because the retail industry tells them to. Is this really the point? I have to admit that this week when I have seen this on Facebook - yes all.over.Facebook - that I roll my eyes.

When I hear this I always wonder if those same people celebrate Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and the like. Ok, so Christmas and Easter are religious holidays and aren't really comparable. And I do agree that Christmas is really over commercialized and I see a backlash against this and I applaud the more creative gifting (homemade gifts) and charitable donations as gifts.

But what about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? If anything, these holidays are less rooted in tradition as Valentine’s Day, which was actually established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD.

Mother’s Day is actually only about 100 years old in the United States and was created to honor mothers and family relationships. Mother’s Day is, according to the National Restaurant Association, the most popular day of the year to dine out, also the day with the largest volume of phone calls placed and the busiest single day for florists. Obviously people are celebrating Mother’s Day! Assumably these people who boycott Valentine's Day are celebrating family love on other days.

I am not one of those die-hard Valentine’s Day nuts. I don’t plan a date usually since I hate trying to eat out or go out when there are crowds, or the fight to secure a babysitter. This year AB is getting a book and a box of candy (don’t worry, he never reads my blog). The kids got little boxes of chocolates and each a little something – Starbucks travel cups for their coveted hot cocoas, Leif got a Lego set and Skadi got the second Tinkerbell DVD. Honestly I wouldn’t have gone with the toys, but I had the DVD leftover from Christmas that I didn’t give her then as she had a large excess over Leif. So I decided it was time to dole that out and to make it fair, Leif got two new Star Wars Lego kits.

I don’t need much and AB tends to overdo Valentine’s Day with flowers AND top of the line chocolates. But who am I to complain?

On Valentine’s Day we will recognize the love between my husband and I, the love we share for our children and for our parents and grandparents.

Remember Valentine's Day when you were a kid? I loved decorating my shoe box and reading way more into the Valentine's from the boys in my class gave out. It wasn't my favorite party day at school, but it was fun!

My kids received a Valentine’s Day package from grandma and grandpa yesterday and could hardly wait to get into it. Leif got a card and two games (and then he stomped us at Trouble last night). Skadi got a card and a skirt and leggings set that she wore all evening and then to school today with her kitty cat rain boots.

Leif sat down to finish off his Valentine’s last night and I was happy I had bought a box of them for Skadi too. She wanted to send hers out. Her first plan was to send one entire stack to grandma and grandpa. I reminded her we had sent them cards and artwork earlier in the week, but I would be happy to send more Valentines too! Uncle Andy and baby Annika topped Skadi's must send list - but it quickly changed to her classmates as she listed off all but one classmate (yes, I walked into the classroom this morning and said, "darn it"). ;-)

Sunday we will enjoy a homemade turkey pot pie and then I am attempting chocolate melting cakes. All food made with love, like every other single meal (even frozen pizza night).

No, I don’t need a retail industry to tell me to celebrate the great loves of my life either. Neither does my husband, I feel loved on the other 364 days of the year. But as with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, why not celebrate your love and do something fun (and eat some chocolate)?

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